Annoying itch? Unfamiliar odour? Dryness coming between you and intimacy? As women, it’s likely we’ll all deal with at least one of these issues at some point or another. So, to help you stay informed about the good, the bad and the ugly (metaphorically speaking, of course), we’ve created individual crash courses that examine the issues affecting women’s vaginal health.
If you have a vagina, you’ve probably felt itchy in that area at some point in your life. Vaginal itch is so common, in fact, women experience it more often than the common cold. And as you may know, itch isn’t a one-size-fits-all sensation. The feeling ranges from slightly bothersome to very irritating to OMG-my-vagina’s-on-fire. Needless to say, we’re of the mind that vaginal itch is less of a dirty little secret and more of a shared experience of womanhood. However, when itch does happen, it’s important to know what may be causing it so you can get relief.
Let’s talk about vaginal dryness, shall we? Firstly, it’s more common than you think! Vaginal dryness has affected 70% of women at some point in their lives. And contrary to popular belief, menopause isn’t the only culprit. Dryness can start as early as your 20s. (Yikes!). Stress, birth control, antihistamines, childbirth, breastfeeding, and even dehydration can cause vaginal dryness. It may also be a symptom of vaginal atrophy, a condition in which vaginal tissues become thinner and more easily irritated. And what about sex? When your heart says one thing but your vagina says another, it’s a recipe for unwanted interruptions. Vaginal dryness doesn’t have to keep you from feeling like yourself or looking forward to intimacy.
Visiting your gynaecologist is hardly a calendar highlight. The thought of getting your bits out to a complete stranger, engaging in awkward conversation, and the fear of pain, can leave you feeling uncomfortable and anxious.
We spoke to 1,000 British women to find out how equipped they feel to deal with vaginal changes. Here’s what they said